News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Kashatreya Closes for Fall Highweight Win

Under 131 pounds, Kashatreya closed through the stretch to win the $111,900 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. II) Thursday at Aqueduct. With Octavio Vergara in the irons, the 5-year-old New York-bred completed the six furlongs in 1:11.03 over a fast track and paid $19.20, $8.80 and $4.50.

Americans Stretch Legs for Japan Cup Dirt and Turf Races

American runners John's Call, Timboroa, Euchre, and Lord Sterling had their first serious exercise at Tokyo race course on Thursday in preparation for the Japan Racing Association's two major group I international races: the inaugural $2.4 million Japan Cup Dirt at 1 5/16 miles on Saturday and the $4.4 million Japan Cup run at a mile and a half over the turf on Sunday.

Arlington Announces 2001 Stakes Schedule; Million Purse Cut

The stakes schedule for Arlington Park's 2001 meet was announced Wednesday and features many changes from the 2000 stakes calendar at the Chicago-area track, including a drastic cut in the purse for the Arlington Million (gr. IT). The Million was run for a purse of $2 million for the first time in 2000, the track's first meet since 1997, but will return to its original purse of $1 million next year.

Drysdale: No Decision On War Chant's Status

War Chant, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile and Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile in his only two grass outings, remains fit and ready for a possible final start in Sunday's $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby before retirement to stud. Trainer Neil Drysdale said Tuesday morning that owner-breeder Irving Cowan has not advised him of any decision as to whether War Chant, who worked seven furlongs here Sunday, would run.

Cigar Mile Highlights Aqueduct's Holidayfest Weekend

Six stakes races, with purses totaling more than $1 million, will be featured during Aqueduct's annual Holidayfest Weekend, which runs from Thanksgiving Day, Thursday through Sunday. The weekend is the highlight of the Aqueduct fall meeting. Among the highlights will be Saturday's Cigar Mile and the Fall Highweight Handicap on Thanksgiving Day.

Breeders' Cup Winner Spain Tops Falls City Field

The Thoroughbred Corp's Spain is a prime example of what a difference a few weeks can make in the world of horse racing. The 3-year-old filly scored one of the biggest upsets of the racing year when she won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at odds of 56-1, but now it will be a shock -- although a milder one -- if she fails to defeat six rivals in Thursday's $250,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

Atlantic City Submits Revised Dates Request to Jersey Commission

Moving quickly after the New Jersey Racing Commission rejected its original application for an eight-day stand, Atlantic City Racecourse re-applied Wednesday for ten 2001 dates, according to track president James J. Murphy. In the unprecedented and unexpected move Tuesday, the commission also rejected the 2001 dates application of Atlantic City Racecourse, but did approve the dates of the two New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority racetracks, Monmouth Park and Meadowlands.

Magna Closes on Bay Meadows Purchase

Magna Entertainment Corporation has completed its purchase of the company that operates Bay Meadows racetrack in northern California for $24.1 million in cash. In a press release, Magna said it will continue to conduct live racing at the San Mateo facility until Dec. 31, 2002, allowing the property owner time to complete a master plan and obtain the entitlements for development of the existing track property.

Keeneland's November Sale: On a Slower Role

Without a doubt, last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale was a blockbuster. It established world auction records for gross revenue and number of horses sold. It posted increases in nearly every statistical category, closing out a decade in which prosperity made a rousing return to the Thoroughbred marketplace. While the good times did not stop rolling in 2000, it was apparent by the end of the latest November extravaganza at Keeneland that they were not rolling quite as fast.

BC Bits

By Steve Haskin -- The Breeders' Cup always manages to leave behind a little piece of itself that creeps into the brain, spawning questions and opinions.

Coming Up Short

By Ray Paulick -- Magna and Churchill have a common problem with short fields in California.

Aptitude Tops Clark Workouts

Juddmonte Farm's Aptitude, the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby (GI) and Belmont Stakes (GI), breezed four furlongs in :49 2/5 at Churchill Downs on Monday in preparation for the Clark Handicap (gr. II). The move by Aptitude tied as the fifth fastest of 23 works at the distance over a track that was not yielding quick times.

Tampa Bay, Horsemen Again in Purse Dispute

On the heels of a horsemen's dispute that spoiled its 1999 opening week, Tampa Bay Downs is having problems signing a purse contract before opening day Dec. 16, and it could be compounded by legal problems. The Oldsmar, Fla., track appears to have violated its existing purse agreement with horsemen by denying stalls to six officers, or their trainers, of the Tampa Bay Downs Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, according to HBPA officials.

Meadowlands Numbers Decline; Improvements Planned

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates Monmouth Park and Meadowlands, is planning several improvements at both racetracks and will sell $15 million in bonds to pay for them. Meanwhile, Meadowlands reported both handle and attendance fell during the Thoroughbred meet that ended Saturday.

Five Want to Buy New York City OTB

A partnership between Magna Entertainment, Greenwood Racing, and real estate investors Robert Baker and William Mack is pursuing the purchase of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. The partners are one of five groups that submitted formal bids late Friday for the nation's most lucrative OTB franchise. NYCOTB owns 68 betting parlors, three teletheaters, and four restaurant-sports pubs that generated a $1 billion handle last fiscal year.

Jersey Commission Meeting Could Be Contentious

Tuesday's meeting of the New Jersey Racing Commission in Trenton, at which the 2001 dates requests of state racetracks will be considered, is expected to be well-attended and perhaps contentious, according to Barbara DeMarco-Reiche, lobbyist for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

Captain Steve Highweighted for Clark

Captain Steve, one of four 3-year-olds to comprise the all-sophomore superfecta in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), was assigned highweight of 120 pounds Sunday by Churchill Downs racing secretary Jerry Botts for the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II), to be run Friday at the Louisville oval. While the 3-year-olds received a 4-pound weight concession from their older rivals in the Classic, the five highest weighted nominees in the Clark are all sophomores.

Muntej To Start in Hollywood Derby

Sky Classic Handicap (Can-IIT) winner Muntej will race next in the $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 26 at Hollywood Park. n other Hollywood Turf Festival news, trainer Todd Pletcher will enter two horses in separate events. Texas Glitter will race in Friday's $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express (gr. IIIT) and Deeliteful Irving will run in Saturday's $200,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT).

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